Saturday, December 3, 2011

Holiday Ready

I'm not one for red velvet bows or colored lights, and my Christmas door likes itself a little understated.  How does your entry like to dress for the holidays?

Friday, October 28, 2011


Yes, Jacksonville.  On business.  And never without a {relatively large} group trip to Singleton's of Mayport.  It's a dive {the food is served on styro and the 'ritas arrive in 20 oz plastic cups}, but some of the best fresh seafood and service in Florida.  If you find yourself on the North Coast, you won't want to miss it...

Fresh seafood on ice as you walk in

The back screened-in porch looks out over the local shrimping fleet.

And don't forget a slice of key lime pie.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Mudroom Makeover

Finally converted from a mid-construction nightmare to a finished space for hot chocolate, muddy Wellingtons, and wet paws.

Each frame contains an image of a Labrador Retriever, sourced from antique English dog books and vintage post card collections.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

From Royal Wedding to Charlotte Symphony

Charismatic & oh-so-British Christopher Warren-Green, in his second season as Music Director of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, enjoyed worldwide acclaim conducting the London Chamber Orchestra during this spring's wedding of the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge.  He has been 'musically acquainted' with HRH Prince Charles for over 30 years (performing at countless royal events throughout, including the Prince's wedding + the Queen's 80th birthday party) and, together with the Abbey's Master of the Choristers, provided counsel to Wills & Kate throughout the planning process.

Last night, Warren-Green and the CSO opened their 80th season with a fabulous all-Russian program. The concert featured Croatian pianist Martina Filjak (in a stunning iridescent moss green gown), making her CSO debut with Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1. It was a wonderful evening full of amazing performances -- the kind of cultural experience Charlotte cannot afford to lose. And while the Symphony is currently facing significant financial challenges, I'm hoping last night's full house was a strong indication that it will be around for many years to come.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Stupid Is As Stupid Says

Please shut your pie hole about the HPV vaccine, Ms. Bachmann. Those of us with a functioning cerebral cortex have had enough.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Kitchen ~ Before & Middle

About 2 months ago, I found a wonderful house painter through a friend. He's much in demand {the good ones always are} so I quickly got myself on his list. I'm very happy to report his team started yesterday morning and they've already made significant progress on the 1st floor. Here's one view of the kitchen + mudroom before, and in progress. All very exciting.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Folly Beach

Labor Day weekend was crazy, but Folly -- The Edge of America -- has settled back to its normal, laid-back self. Walks on the near-empty beach are breezy & cool (relatively), outdoor tables are easier to come by @ Taco Boy, and watermelon is back in stock at The Pig. One of the most dog-friendly beach towns anywhere, well-behaved, leashed-up pups are welcome on the beach before 10/after 6, and on the patios of most restaurants anytime (4 paws up from India).

This time of year the waves are surf-perfect and the humidity is low. If you do leave the beach, please don't miss the blackened tuna nachos at Rita's, the blueberry pancakes at the Lost Dog, or the Spiked Lemonade at Blu.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Primordial Why

I'm catching up on some of the reality TV missed while living in London. Finding Sarah is in re-runs on OWN and 'though some bits are really good, I'm not so sure about her visit to a shaman in the midst of the Sonoran Desert. Still trying to get beyond his Heidi braids and scream therapy. But hey, whatever works right? Good luck, Sarah.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Found It!

I began considering wallpaper for my dining room more than 2 years ago. Happily, the search has ended (!) with this modern translation of an historical chinoiserie pattern. 

With a few reliable service providers, this could all be transformed by the end of September (fingers crossed).

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Denim & Supply

After registering for a Fall mystery writing class with Gotham, I thought the time might be right for a little online school shopping. Enter Ralph Lauren and this amazing beacon blanket sweater from his newest line - Denim & Supply. Perfect to wear with last year's J. Crew suede fringe booties, old Levi's & my collection of vintage Native American turquoise.

Zing. It's mine.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Book It

Fall always marks the arrival of fabulous new releases -- the impending holiday season seems to get everyone refocused on upping the lifestyle ante & making sure their own homes are looking amazing. Here are a few I'm currently reading or impatiently awaiting...

What about you?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Media Maven

A bedroom in the back of my house is being requisitioned for the big screen. A small flat screen will tuck into a cabinet next to the fireplace to allow simultaneous fall football + crackling fire viewing in the living room. But primary Netflix streaming/Real Housewives following will occur in the new media room, where I'm currently focusing all remodelista activities (heavily influenced by The Novogratz). The room's existing white walls & shutters, and ebony hardwoods, will be the foundation.

The motivation behind the vivid color scheme is this large scale photograph -- a total impulse buy during my first trip to Charleston, South Carolina in 2006 (1st in the artist's original series of 25).

This hot pink canvas will upholster a Charlotte sectional

Greek key Trina Turk cocktail napkins will probably be most often found on this lucite waterfall table

1 turquoise + 1 lime pouf will provide surfaces for sitting or foot-resting

Everything will perch atop this candy-striped rug

India gets a new Fatboy dog bed

And a pair of 1960's wrought iron patio tables providing cocktail perches on either side of the Charlotte, will be topped with fabulous vintage chrome yellow lamps (a recent ebay find) with some big white drum shades.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Remodel, Interrupted

In early 2006, I bought an 'as-is' 1920's colonial in Charlotte, North Carolina with great enthusiasm and a strong desire to make it my own. By late 2006, I was completely over plumber rip-offs, electrician no-shows, cabinetmaker flake-outs, plaster dust, dicey handymen, paint disasters, and plain old shoddy work. Starting a new job in a new city, while at the same time acting as my own general contractor, was too much. I threw my hands up, said 'enough', and left large pieces of my house incomplete (see Kitchen & Mudroom, below).

Fortunately, 8 months in London living in hotels and an antiseptic corporate apartment had a reinvigorating effect. Since returning, my house has been a proper hive of activity. I've purchased wallpaper & fabrics & rugs, sent furniture to be reupholstered, hired a painter, and -- after 5 years with a gaping hole above the range -- installed a hood.

It may not seem like much to you, but to me it feels like a pretty good start.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


It's been forever, I know. But when wrapping up an international finance project, going on extended holiday, packing up & moving countries, starting a new job, and getting a house back in order, time does fly. So here's what's new -- meet India (more formally, Thimble Farm's India Ink, daughter of Shadylake's Southern Dixie Buddy & Flint River's Georgia), my 11 week old black Lab. She likes long walks, the UPS man, small rocks, and electrical cords.

She dislikes nap time.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Amazing day @ Wimbledon yesterday with London rain stopping long enough to keep the roof open the entire day. Drank Pimm's {on tap, fabulous} both in the garden and in the stadium under sunny skies while watching Wozniacki (1), Federer (3) and Djokovic (2) all move through to the 4th. Saw many carrying camping kit throughout {tents, etc.} -- evidence of a long day and an early queue. That's dedication to sport. Not me. I was in good seats just outside the reach of the blazing sun right next to the Royal Box. Where there were no sightings of a Duchess. Damn.